June 29th, 2020- Today, the Indian government took strong steps to curb the Chinese Communist Party’s creeping influence and growing economic presence in their country. India banned over 60 apps from China, including the viral TikTok app, denying CCP controlled companies access to 1.3 billion potential Indian customers. This comes after Indian and Chinese forces clashed over the disputed Himalayan border earlier in the month.
This “unarmed” confrontation caused the death of more than 20 Indians and an unreported number of Chinese soldiers. Indian media reports that the violence broke out because of the CCP’s continuous military buildup on the shared Himalayan border as part of a larger strategy to seize territory by attrition and intimidation. Reports suggest that the CCP troops were carrying weapons, including spiked bats covered with barbed wire, which is important because India and China have a “no weapons” agreement when patrolling their shared border to avoid a direct armed conflict.
While both governments have signaled their willingness to deescalate an armed conflict, India has recognized that an information war with the CCP may be just as dangerous as armed conflict. There have been reports out of America that TikTok “promotes” accounts that praise the totalitarian Chinese Communist Party. Australia has recently reported massive cyber attacks on vital infrastructure they received from China after criticizing the CCP over their global COVID-19 response publicly. America just removed 23,750 fake CCP propaganda accounts from Twitter, and their propaganda campaigns have come under scrutiny in American media finally.
On top of the subversive warfare, China’s Communist Party has imposed a new “national security law” on Hong Kong which has the potential to end the high-level of independence and freedom that Hong Kong enjoys separately from mainland China on the global stage. While many countries, including the US, have widely condemned the recent move by the CCP, there is little action being taken to prevent the CCP from waging information and economic warfare on the rest of the world.
Beijing’s global strategy is unconventional, and the rest of the world seems unprepared for these tactics. While the CCP may not be ready for an armed conflict, they have been using social media, investment, and technology to promote their totalitarian ideology worldwide. They have even supported America’s “Black Lives Matter” unrest while denying their own black citizens entry to restaurants. They hold Muslim Uhygurs in forced “re-education camps” in the Xinjang province while sowing division worldwide as part of a broader geopolitical strategy of “divide and conquer”. Not to mention, they have been building makeshift islands in the South China Sea for years to enhance their disputed maritime claims in the region. While the tactics and intent of the CCP are obvious, it is questionable how the rest of the world will react to these provocations. So far, there has been a lot of rhetoric and resolutions, but there has been little action.
The rest of the world may not understand the threat of the CCP’s totalitarian regime, but the Indian government has taken a first step by blocking economic and cultural warfare in the region. Hopefully, other countries will take note of the CCP’s propaganda machine, form a coalition, and the regime will receive the scrutiny it deserves on the global stage. The fate of the Chinese people and free world depend on it.